Run. Dog. Cat. Cat. Me.

Everything you need to know about running and life and any other random crap I find bouncing through my mind like a ping pong ball. And always be sure your shoes are happy.

Archive for the month “February, 2013”

Promise and new growth

It’s a beautiful late Sunday afternoon and I’m watching the sun set behind the trees across our little cove of lake.  Earlier this afternoon I felt the first hint of spring in the air, that indefinable scent or feel, somehow different from a winter day with the same weather.  Perhaps it’s a slight change in the look of the sunlight or the stirring of the animals.  We have a bluebird couple at our suet and a flock of cedar waxwings stripped our holly bushes bare last week.  A few daffodils and crocus are popping up and their bright colors on the rather monochrome landscape seems especially cheery.   Geese and ducks have been absent for a while and this afternoon I can see several little groups floating around.

Tomorrow’s forecast is rain, thunderstorms and winds, with the days following in the 40’s/30’s.  Since I’m seeing posts from people trying to decide to run inside or out with a 13″ snowfall I have no problems with our forecast returning to winter for a few days.  It will fight its way back.

Saturday morning the alarm went off at 5am – not a completely indecent time of day.  And it wasn’t a kleighorn blaring like an oncoming cruise ship, which made the entire transition smoother.

I did question what I was doing, thinking I could do another half.  Yet there I was, and there was hubs, and there we were in the car on the way to Oxford, Mississippi at 5:45 am in order to make race day packet pickup.  It was little surprise when we got there and it was grey, cloudy, 34 degrees and windy.

This race had everything in common with the Greenville race:  cold, grey, windy; fantastic volunteers, very well-organized, excellent course support, cheering townspeople; endless beer and pizza at the end.  So, to one-up Greenville, Oxford, however far in the distant past, decided to be built, not in the delta, but in the rolling hills of middle Mississippi.  Unfortunately, I overlooked that fact.

My main concern going into the race was that I wasn’t in shape for these hills.  It didn’t occur to me that my butt would attempt to fall off at mile 9.  Butt has been behaving so well lately.

There has to be something in the stride going uphill which pulls that piriformis/sciatic nerve and I’m truly looking forward to talking to Dr. K about this next time I see him.  He loves to talk about his work and explains everything so well.  I find it fascinating so I’m a good audience.  I like knowing the how and why as I’m sure you do.

Sure enough, by mile 10 I was walking every hill not because I didn’t have the strength to run them, as I’d worried, but because my leg was singing soprano.  Who needs an iPod?  I was mad because I was scared, and every negative tape that could possibly play in my head got air time.  I walked the final (uphill) 1/2 mile to the finish line.  Poor hubs, smiling at me, and all I could say is “I have nothing good I can say right now”.   Pizza, a small beer and dry clothes went a long way.  We headed home and I wiggled and twitched the entire way.  Butt was definitely feeling worse.  I cared – but I didn’t.  I knew this was part of fighting my way back, one way or the other.

We had a wonderful Saturday afternoon running errands and celebrating the 3rd birthday of the B’ster.  There’s no way to feel in the dumps watching a three-year old open gifts of cars and trains and spooning in pizza and ice cream with chocolate sauce.  I look in those beautiful dark eyes full of total joy and melt.  I hold it in my heart and try to absorb it.

Yesterday evening hubs was online.  “Terri, it looks like you’re 3rd in your age group.”

WTHeck?  Sure enough, none of the fast women showed up and someone Mastered out of the age group.  I placed third.  I’m not being facetious here, I know my time and I know the area runners.  I placed because they were not there.

I don’t care.  LALALALALALALA!  I placed!  Happy Dance!  At mile 10, if I’d known where the finish line was, I would have thought about walking off the course.  I wouldn’t have walked off, but I would have given it some very serious consideration.

I will take that finish and 3rd place and put a bow on it.

AND – this morning Butt was back to where it was before the race, still there but much better.  I’m less stiff and sore from the race than I was from Greenville two weeks ago!

The joy of this is not only in the running.  The joy is that I’m learning to work with this.  I’d like to be a person who can immediately stick an issue in the correct slot in my brain and not go off track, but apparently I’m not.  I expect most people are the same way but I’m not trying to figure them out, I’m trying to figure me out.  I don’t know where the manual is.  Maybe when we die part of the afterlife is that we all get our owner’s manuals back and everything finally works and makes sense.  I hope so.  Still, I’m happy that despite the fact I could not think of anything good to say at the end of that race, I eventually shook it off.  It took a while, and some focus, but I made peace with whatever the next day would bring.

I’m growing, I’m learning, I’m changing.

At this juncture of winter and spring, as we begin to see the promise of new or renewed life, the somber greys/browns slowing budding with fresh green, the bright yellow or purple of buds frozen in the earth, what promise do you see in your life?  What new growth do you reach for?

Hmmmm. I see what happened there…

…when I left the house for thirty minutes to help a desperate friend in need.

Chunker and Murphy will be spending some hours in time out.  And I’ve taken away their phones so don’t bother trying to text them.

Becky and I both work from home, alone in our lonely, cold garrets, surrounded by wadded up Taco Bell wrappers and discarded K-cups, huddled in the chill in our pajama pants and Uggs, wearing our favorite sweatshirt emblazoned YIPPY SKIPPY RUN 2001, the fleece covered with pilled lumps of thread, talking to pretend people on Facebook and blogging with our animals who are treated better than any child ever was.

Becky’s job requires actual work, as opposed to mine, and she has to type many very big words that have a lot of the alphabet in each one and include many z’s, x’s and y’s – which are the hardest keys to find, you know, stuck down in the corner of the keyboard like an afterthought.

After 7 straight hours of transcription Becky sat back, stretched, and her eyeballs fell out onto her desk.  She managed to find them although she did accidentally knock one off onto the floor and it rolled under the credenza which took her a while; she finally slid it out with a yardstick.  She wandered crookedly into the kitchen for a cup of coffee to help wipe the cobwebs from her addled brain.

Her brain intoned, “I spy with our dusty little eye that we only have three K-cups.  This is nowhere near enough to fill the IV bag.”  Then her brain started to scream, “NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  Becky wandered back to her desk, frightened and alone, all alone with only Brain and three K-cups in the house.  “I only have three K-cups to last me until tomorrow.  Good-bye.  I loved you all.” she typed to her imaginary friends on FB.

I’LL SAVE YOU!  I replied! and I leapt or lept or leaped in my trusty Explorer, Babs, and brought her coffee and saved her life and that of her family and probably several neighbors!  I was a hero!  News Channel Zippy wanted to interview me!  But I’m humble and loving and giving and told the reporter than I needed no reward or recognition for saving my friend, her family, the neighborhood and, probably, actually, the world.

And you know the rest of the story.  I left the computer open in my haste and apparently Chunker and Murphy had a little verbal sparring contest with my blog.  I apologize and I would make them write an apology too but I believe they would enjoy that too much.

Flush with her success, Chunk has become a terror today.  I heard a faint mewing and tracked her down in the closet, on a pile of boxes, trying to climb up and walk across the hangers.  When she saw me she jumped down and wandered regally down the hallway.  “What?  There’s nothing to see here,” her tail twitched.  She jumped up on the bathroom counter so fast she skidded into Mo, knocking him into the sink.  Ignoring him, she then tried to grab my arm to turn on the water, which I did just so I could watch her shove her snooty nose in the air and jump back down.  She’s terrorized Mo, attacked the bedskirt, tried to eat the fern then turned, jumped on the desk and slid to the other side falling off onto the chair, smacked Murphy on the nose for no reason whatsoever and then, when I came upstairs to work, I found this:

chunker 2.19.13

And her royal highness, seated on my laptop, was searching online:

print job

Apparently she either needs glasses or needs to dust her eyeballs because she had enlarged the screen.  And she doesn’t seem to know exactly how to spell oy vey, but I have a feeling I know what her next comments about me were going to be.

chunker is a suck up

i didn’t drool on mom’s shoes.  i just kinda licked them a little bit.

chunk thinks she is so smart but mom got out the heating pad to sit on and then chunk ran over and jumped up on mom’s lap and fell asleep in about 13 seconds.  i knew she would do that.  so now mom can’t get up because chunk is asleep on her lap.  so now i get to write stories.

this is a good story.  there was a bird that came in our yard and i barked at it and it flew away.  then, i peed on the grass where the bird was.

see? yeah.  dumb bird.

this is a good story too.  mom made carrots.  me and mom love carrots.  she chops them up chopchopchop and then she says ooops! and the carrot falls on the floor!  then i get a carrot and she gets a carrot.  then she chops carrots more and another one falls on the floor!  i love it!  i love it!  i jump and catch it and it never lands on the floor because i am so fast!  chomp chomp!

then i run in a circle and then i see momo and i chase him!  hahahaha we run and run and i bark and bark.

oops.  mom just said MURPHYTYOUDIPSHITQUITBARKING

which that means.  um.  i’m not sure.

i’ll just wag my tail and look at her.  i think that’s what it means.

yep.  that worked.  then she said, murphy you are so crazy.

that means i love you.

i love you too mom!

HI! It’s me, Chunk!

I thought mom would never leave.  she’s been hogging the computer all day.  then she had an emergency, she said oh my gosh this is bad Becky is out of coffee!  and she ran through the house and got in CAR which I hate, stupid thing.  I don’t know how she can help Becky when the only place that CAR ever goes is to the horrible vet that puts things up inside where things should not be put up inside a self-respecting cat and then pokes you with needles while the entire room stinks and reeks of dogs which drool.

I wanted to get on the computer because I have to google doctor krackurback and send him an email and tell him thank you for fixing mom’s butt.  I don’t really get it, since it’s mostly her head that gets upset about stuff, but humans are just funny things and you have to love them anyway.  So anyway her head is much happier now.  She doesn’t say oh my aching head I wish I could burn off some energy.

yesterday she came home and said oh sweet little chunker you are so pretty!  then she said oh my little MoMo you little sweetie you’re so sweet and then she said Murphy!  Do you want to go outside? and of course he’s such an idiot he said yes but then as soon as he was outside he wanted back in because he needed to smell mom’s shoes.  He said her shoes smelled like dirt and grass and moles and squirrels and all kinds of stuff.  He liked them a lot and then he rubbed his nose all over them and finally I said Murphy jeeze get a hotel.

Dogs drool.  I wonder if mom knows there is drool all over her shoes.  ick.

anyway she said oh Munker I had so much fun I ran cross country today.  Which I’m telling you, I love her but she’s so stupid.  I know that country is big.  I googlemapped how to get to Petco and it’s a long way across the country.  I don’t think she could run that far in one hour.  She said she ran ten Kays across country.  Whatever ten Kays are she was happy and said it was a pretty day out with the sun shining going For A Run like she did.  But I know her friend  Ms Kay and I don’t think there are ten of them.  Also Ms Kay doesn’t run.   So, you see how she is, even on her good days.  No wonder me and Mo have to take naps.  She wears us out.

Also it’s real nice she left for a while because she’s been singing again.  She has the radio on and she is singing and it’s awful.  It’s like that time she stepped on Mo’s tail and he screeched and yowled and ran and hid behind the dryer for thirtyseven hours.  Only worse.  Louder.  Screechier.  Endless.

I wanna ROCK and ROLL all NITE and PARTY every DAY
I wanna ROCK and ROLL all NITE and PARTY every DAY

Then later she should have put on a sweatshirt because she was

OOH OOH OOH cold as, cold as
I, i, ice, (you’re as cold as ice) yes (Right here she would give a little bounce in her chair and fist pump the air)

(Cold as ice) You’re as cold as ice, cold as ice, I know
(Cold as ice) You’re as cold as ice, yes I know
(Cold as ice) You’re as cold as ice, you’re as cold as ice, cold as ice, I know

So if she knows so much she should turn the heat up.  I love the heat.  I love to sit on top of the heating vent.  it’s so warm and cozy and I love it.  I curl up on top of the vent and the nice hotness keeps me so nice and warm.  then mom is like, MUNKER!  no wonder it’s cold in this room!  But it’s not cold at all!  It’s wonderful and warm.  So again you see she’s basically an idiot.

Oh shoot I hear CAR!  I gotta go!

Also, HI MR. DAGUMMETT!!

Sunday Sunday….

Sunday Sunday, so good to me,
Sunday Sunday, it was all I hoped it would be
Oh Sunday morning, Sunday morning couldn’t guarantee
That Sunday evening my legs would still be here with me.

HAPPY SUNDAY BOY AND GIRL!!  How are you both doing this fine cloudy grey morning?  I had a little crash and burn yesterday.  I’ve been trying to watch the calories and behave and I’m not doing so well with that.  Behaving, in my opinion, is usually rather overrated.  Of course I do not mean you/we/I should not behave within the confines of law.  I’m looking at the self-imposed rules of behavior that we seem unable to quit placing upon ourselves, then self flagellating when we inevitably fail after being harder on ourselves than we are on anyone else.

What kind of rules you do find yourself imposing on yourself – and immediately resisting?

Today I will floss morning and evening for 60 seconds.  I will only drink 12 cups of coffee.  I will not shout cuss words at the Letters to the Editor.  No.  I have to modify that one.  I will not shout cuss words at the letters if hubs is still in the house.  No.  Here:  I will not read the Letters to the Editor if hubs is still in the house.  I will not go to the secret hiding place of the Lindor Truffles.  Ok, I will go to the secret hiding place of the Lindor truffles but I. Will. Not. Pick them up.  Ok, I will only pick up three.

So.  I quit.  I ate everything I wanted.  We went to a Mardis Gras party and I carted around about three plates of food.  I did not snort.  I did kind of gnaw on a rib bone just to be sure I’d gotten all the bbq goodness.  But I gnawed very lady-like.  I’m going to do the same thing today.

I have this idea that all the people around me are mature adults, and I’m living with the brain of a two-year old.  I seem unable to dispel that notion, partly because I try to act like a grown up but find myself responding to a stupid email with the term “Poopyhead” and “Dipshidiot” which I think is very funny and I like to say it out loud because I like how it sounds and rolls off my tongue.

So.  Today I’m not going to bother thinking I’m a grownup.  I’m going to eat whatever I want, and I’m going to drink however much coffee I want.  I’m going to run the Winter Off Road Series 10K this afternoon – slow and in the back – and I’m not going to worry about am I doing too much too soon or will my butt fall off or will my legs crumple.  Because probably none of that will happen anyway.  Like Erma Bombeck once said, of course worrying works.  99% of everything I’ve worried about never happened.

One thing I will not do:

oreos

But that’s only because I don’t feel like it.  Too much mess.  And I’d have to go to the grocery store.

Plus I still know where the truffles are hidden.

What are you going to allow yourself the freedom to do today?

Always be a Unicorn.

It’s 27 degrees with a feel like temp of 23.  It could be worse, I could live in upstate New York or Canadia or someplace.  Someday I’m going to be a Canadian.  Right now, however, I’m busy being a Unicorn.

always-be-yourself-unless-you-can-be-a-unicorn-then-always-be-a-unicorn

And I am reveling in the luxury of dreading a run.  “Oh, no!  It’s COLD!  I don’t want to run in the cold!”  hahahahahaha

I’m – of course – having a cup of coffee and dorking around online, FB, messaging.  Becky popped up: 9am, St. P’s, 6 miles.

YEP!  I’m there!  I haven’t run much this week so I will be interested in seeing how the legs shake out.  I have been more tired than usual this week but that’s the only aftermath of the half, so I could not ask for anything more.

unicorn

You can’t be a Unicorn if you don’t put in the time, however you are able.

And I don’t think you can be a Unicorn without friends to pull you along. I’m blessed with the best.

How about you?

happy freaking friday. at least my socks match.

On behalf of the Blah Contingent everywhere, I have this to say:

happy.  freaking.  friday.

And how are both of you, my loyal and faithful blog followers, may the gods of insurance continue to approve and pay for all your meds?

I was flying pretty high after last Saturday, it took me until Tuesday evening to crash.  Wednesday Becky started buddy training with me at Killer’s.  Killer would give me a set to do – “Terri, do three sets of these four exercises 16 to 20 reps.”  Then she would work with Becky.  Actually it was more that she worked Becky over.  In the nicest way possible, of course, because Killer is a very sweet person upon whom I have an enormous Girl Crush and she would never do anything to hurt someone.  She might do things to help them get stronger which would have the side effect of lasting pain and the inability to raise your arm high enough to brush your teeth or put a hat on your miserable unwashed hair, but, heh, shit happens.

Still suffering delusions of grandeur I figured if I could do a half marathon I could certainly do 25 lat pull downs.  If 20 is good, 25 is better, right?  And since my hip flexors and glutes are a source of trouble, let’s just show them and do 30 monster walks instead of 20, dammit.  When Killer put the bands around my ankles for the monster walks Becky’s eyeballs boinged out of her head like a Looney Tunes character.  “What fresh new hell is THAT?” she asked.  I think maybe Becky needs a Xanax before our next workout.

one louder

It’s one better.

Thursday when I woke and considered going swimming and realized that would include having to raise my arms high enough to put on the swimming hair condom, and that swimming involves kicking, which means my legs would have to actually move, I decided I would sit that one out.  Becky and I messaged each other, careful not to raise our arms any further than needed to reach a keyboard.

I cheered Becky up by noting that her post #fatass #slacker  should be #F’ingawesomemarathoner #Killertriedtokillme.  She laughed and then cried when her abs engaged.

This morning I woke at 7:30am, reluctantly, and had about 13 cups of coffee which had no beneficial effect whatsoever.

Becky couldn’t join us today and when I tried to do bicep curls and couldn’t lift the weights Killer called it a day.  I went home, had some more coffee and took a nap for an hour.  Then I made some green tea with lemon just to switch up the caffeine source and sat around looking at the dog hair floating up off the stairs.  I tell you what, the hair all over this house – and I’ve started brushing him daily, so in theory a lot of that hair should already be in the trash, but, no – he should weigh about 8 pounds and be completely bald.

hairless dog

His mother would still love him, however.  Probably she would love him even more since it would save so much vacuuming.

I know, that looks like a cat. It’s not.

(ed. Note:  yes, those are too cats)

(dammit.  I searched for hairless dogs.)

(cat note:  Cats Rule.  Dogs Drool.)

(DAMMIT CHUNK QUIT HIJACKING MY BLOG)

I need to get some more socks.  They’ve started getting saggy and they bunch up in my shoe.  I only wear one kind of sock, Thorlo running socks with the knit-in cushion.  Also I wear them inside out.  The knitting is softer on the outside.  It’s like when they put all the seams on the inside of a running bra.  Gentlemen manufacturing jog bras:  No.  Stop that.  No inside seams.  Or, go ahead and continue doing that, but wear that sucker on a long run your own self.  Preferably a long hot sweaty one, and let’s see how that chafing feels when you get in the shower.  Why waste all the softness on the outside?  Do you put the fleece blanket on fleece side out?  I think not.  Guess what I figured out?  I wear the jog bra inside out too.  With brains like these I should not be able to carry the weight of my head on my poor tired shoulders.

Oddly, since all my children have left home all my socks have stayed.  I do the laundry.  All the socks match with their mates.  Running socks, hub’s black socks for work, funny little bicycle socks – they all hang around and match up.  Every single time. You’d think I was running a coffee shop with a dating match-up event for socks.

I clearly remember it was so unusual that all the socks in a load of laundry for six people would match up that one day when they did and there were no orphans to shove in the corner with the rest of the orphaned socks, I was so excited that I called my friend and announced, I just washed 27 pair of socks AND THEY ALL MATCHED.

She did not believe me and accused me of lying.  Well, OK, maybe she didn’t say outright that I lied.  But her snorts were quite obvious.

This is what I think.  I think socks hate children.  My kids moved out, all my socks stayed.  I’m just saying.

The other side of this is children think their parents had sex exactly the same number of times there are children.  It’s obvious that socks are sexual beings.  It’s also obvious that they have very loose morals.  And I believe that is part of the disappearing issue.  The socks are leaving the house in order not to corrupt the children.  Once the children are gone, no need to hide their socksuality.  Also they are much older socks, now, and a Friday night spent with you, propped on the footstool on your feet, while you eat 98% fat free popcorn and watch the five episodes of the Colbert Report which you recorded this week – this is a wild and crazy time.  You spend a crazy Friday night like that and on Saturday morning you do laundry, you’ll find those socks are much to tired to go roaming.

Finally, here’s my friend Julianne’s take on the issue:

  • Look! There’s a dating service for them! Let’s pray the Thorlos never get wind of this!
    Photo
    Terri Lee:   YAY!!! I wonder if they are seeking casual sox?
    Julianne: Well you see them hanging out just asking for it.
    Terri Lee:  True.  I hope none of them act like a heel.
    Julianne:  They should all toe the mark.
    Dan: Looks like they’re instep with each others desires.
    Terri Lee:  Well.  I’ll be darned.

What special stoopid pills did you take this morning??

Anne set her alarm for 4am.

Just as the identity of the rapist/murderer roaming the campus trying to find me was being revealed a kleighorn began blaring.  I levitated and hung suspended in the air for a moment before I fell back onto the bed.

“What the holy hell was that??” I yelled, as Anne laughed.

“I told you, you wouldn’t sleep through my alarm.”

No shit.  I almost didn’t LIVE through it.  Between the murdering rapist in my nightmare and the Q.E. 2 barreling across the waves for me I knew I wasn’t going to have to worry too much about porta johns on the course.

Sleepy-faced runners roamed the kitchen in the rental house.  Apparently worried about famine, five people had brought 21 bananas, two packages of bagels, one package of English muffins, a personal Keurig, two dozen assorted K-Cups, peanut butter, honey, oatmeal, juice, creamer, and a grocery sack full of protein and trail mix bars.  This does not include the Gatorade being mixed and Gu’s being shoved in pockets.

What I’d been casually thinking of as a longer training run than usual suddenly became a lot more real.  Everyone else was there for a marathon, and there is a whole big wide world of difference between 26.2 miles and 13.1.  Everyone visited quietly and went about the business of fueling the machine that was their body.

I love that part of a race morning.  Focused, calm, centered, carefully considering the fuel needed, what to put in your body during the three hours between now and the race start.  Not too much, but enough.  Tying and retying shoes.  Adjusting hats, shorts, socks, HR monitors; Garmins beeping in the quiet dark morning.

This time we drove on a real road into town which didn’t dead end and had no ancient graveyards full of dead trees and broken headstones with murder rapists hiding behind them waiting to jump out while dueling on banjoes.  We parked on the levee in downtown Greenville.  It was dark, cold and breezy, but this race buses you to the start line and you run back to town, so we had warm buses to sit in.

I didn’t know anyone on my bus so I settled back in the seat (first seat on the first bus going to the half) and daydreamed with my eyes half-open.  A police cruiser pulled up in front of the marathon buses, lights flashing.  The buses started up, their lights now flashing and beaming and they began rolling forward.  I thought of the runners in there, all their goals and hopes; of my friends, all the training they’d put in, how the adrenaline would be starting for them now as the buses’ tail lights receded in the distance.

There was a BEEP and the radio announced to our driver it was time to head out – and suddenly it became real.  I’m running a half marathon.

What. The. Hell.  Was I thinking?

I’m a certified running coach.  I know better than this.  If one of the Women Run ladies came to me after five weeks of training for the 5K and glibly announced they were heading out for a nice 10 miler Saturday I’d drop my teeth and mentally call them playground names (are you an idjit??  dummy!  doodoo head!  What special stoopid pills did you take this morning??)

I’m going to run a Half Marathon on a training base of sixty-three miles??

The furthest I’ve run in five months is 7 miles and that was last week!

I’m an idjit!  A dummy!  A doodoo head!  What special stoopid pills did I take this morning??

“STOP THE BUS!!!  I have to get off!!!”  I could hear the screaming in my head but nothing was coming out of my mouth.  Odd, but fortunate.  Usually my mute button doesn’t work.

I gave myself a mental slap and closed my eyes.  In…Out…In…Out I breathed.  Look, Terri, you start slow, you walk the water stops, you’re just out there for a little jog, not a big deal.  Just go slow.  Walk the water stops.  You can always walk off the course if you need.  Dr. K said you’re good to go.

The slowest hour of the year went by in about 13 minutes and I found myself at the starting line with two friends from home, all three of us surprised to see the others there.  The horn sounded and we started up and over the Mississippi River Bridge.

mississippi-river-marathon-bridge

Stock photo I got from the race website

The sun was rising and there was a mist in the lowlands along the bridge.  We could see a barge disappearing in the fog downriver.  It was quiet, not a lot of talk, the huff of breath, the shuffle of feet, cars and semi’s going by in the other lane.  It was windy and I thought of Becky, Anne, and Heather, fighting this wind for 26 miles.

My goal had been to walk every mile at the water stops but they had decided at the last minute not to do the stop at the top of the bridge.  At 30-something degrees those tossed cups could leave a lot of frozen liquid on the course.  I ended up doing the first three miles non-stop.  I picked out someone in front of me and made myself stay behind them.  That sounds real good on paper, but if that girl with the backside like a 25 pound bag of potatoes in the flowered tights got in front of me all bets were off.  Which is totally not PC and is mean so I probably should not have admitted it.  But it is true.

Since I’m newly concentrating on my form I watched the runners pass me, and I began to see two types of stride.  Some were running from their hips and glutes, hips swaying slightly to and fro.  Others ran with their legs; their glutes and hip flexors stationary.  Following Dr. K’s advice, I was trying to fire my glutes.  It was harder than usual to make an ass of myself but I was trying.  And then, it clicked.  Sometimes I’d lose form.  Immediately my hamstring would shout at me and I’d adjust.

I relaxed, enjoying the little boy scouts and girl scouts shouting, the middle school cheer team, the high school band.  I ran by each, cheering back, slapping palms and high-fiving them.  There was an old couple sitting in a truck at an intersection.  I thought they were mad, waiting to cross – no – they waved and yelled as everyone came by, their cheers muffled by the rolled up windows but the enthusiasm evident.

There I was – 4 miles – 7 miles – 9 miles!  I’m almost done!

I enjoyed every single step I took on that course.  I thanked every volunteer and police officer I could see.  I high-fived little kids and yelled Hotty Toddy at the adults but passed on the actual toddy.

John and I hung around the finish line visiting with the surprising number of people we knew from Memphis.  Heather came in three minutes under her BQ time and also placed!  Becky and Anne came in looking great although completely worn out from battling that wind.  Becky said this about the wind, and I quote,  (*&$$ (*)(%’ing #*&$ damn #$*&(&) son of *&$%&^^.  Then she said this about Anne, and I quote, )(*$%* good idea )*(&$#%)*(&’ing run a &*#(*$&^ marathon in the (*)&#)*(&$ Land of your (*&&^% PEEPLES.  Anne sipped her Mick Ultra, unpreturbed.  Hey, the beer was free.

They refueled, we all grabbed a baby Mick Ultra and headed home; John at the wheel, Becky, Anne, Maggie and I slumped in the seats.  Becky mumbled something that sounded like ^%$$ never again &*)*&*( Anne &*^%* but probably it wasn’t.

We stopped for gas at a little quick mart between the Wishy Washy Washateria and the Nette Belle Boutique and Tax Service.  We looked at the tamales, the potato logs and the cajun fried popcorn, but in the end we opted for, as Anne referred to it, 22 ounces of icy cold deliciousness (Becky and I went for the 12 ounce option) and we each bought a Bud Light Lime.  John got a red powerade and some crackers.

We are wild and crazy and there is no stopping us.

wishy washy

nette belles

22 ounces

Betcha thought I’d made it up.

Sorry, I half to run.

(Names have been changed and details obfuscated to protect the not-so-innocent because the Home is still looking for them after that last breakout)

It was dusk and we were following Heather and Maggie along a quiet, lonely, deserted, dusty, rocky Delta road.  We’d been detoured when the original path ended, blocked with large signs covered in X’s.  A dry creek bed had, at one point in the past, been full enough of raging water to wash the road out.  Judging by the quantity, size and condition of the signs some people had managed to miss the message anyway.

Becky and I were trying to call Heather to tell her to turn around and come back as we watched her tailights recede in the dust and distance.  I finally got through.  “Heather, you need to turn back, I think we’ve found another way to get to their house.”

“No, it’s OK,” she replied, “David told me to drive until the road dead ends and then turn left.  Then when that road dead ends, turn left again.”

When the road ends, turn left.  As the sun quickly disappeared on the horizon, looking around at the silent, barren fields, the twisted grey-brown trees, and the leaning, rotted, empty shacks, I asked Heather if she and Maggie heard banjos.

beermug

Now it’s Sunday morning – a steady grey rainy downpour outside my window.

I can hear birds chirping, flitting about while I watch the surface of the lake bounce with the rain.  A large blackbird is hugely pissed and hopping from limb to limb purveying his destroyed beginnings of a nest, screeching at the offending squirrel who apparently misjudged his leap from my roof to the tree, landing smack on the foundations the bird had carefully laid.  Murphy’s cowering under my chair.  He’s going to be staying close to me for the day, I expect, between the thunder, which he abhors, and the fact that I abandoned him and the cats overnight Friday.  Yesterday evening when I got home Mo wouldn’t come out from behind the dryer while Chunk jumped up on the counter and kept grabbing my arm if I started to walk away.

I have Dumper Soup on the stove as I’m (oddly) craving healthy food, and I’m looking back at both the last five months and the last 48 hours, shaking my head in disbelief.

I ran a half marathon yesterday.

beermug

Crazy running nutjobs and beer.

Shortly after the awesome adventure of their first marathon last December my friends Becky and Anne were discussing their next goals.  Anne had discovered the Mississippi River Marathon & Half Marathon in Greenville, MS in February.  I believe beer had to have been involved; she talked Becky into training for it.  Why lose the fitness so diligently obtained training up for the first marathon? they most likely reasoned, probably nodding in sloppy agreement over their cups at the Flying Saucer.

I thought they should.  What would it hurt?  I didn’t have to do the race.

Anne was beside herself happy to show her best running buddy the Land of Her Peoples, having been born and bred in the Mississippi Delta.  An Italian from the heart of the Delta.  She talks fast and southern.

At some point I got tapped to be the DD on the journey, as Becky doubted their ability to run 26.2 miles in the Land of Anne’s Peoples and then drive home.  Later Becky’s hubs, John, decided to come along and do the half also, effectively making him the DD, a fortunate occurence for all involved.

beermug

Last Monday after running the furthest I have gone since 9.9.2012 – 7 miles – on the previous Saturday, I asked Dr. Krackurback if I needed to be scaling back, hanging with the same mileage or if I should try pushing it.  He paused for a moment and looked at me.  “I think I’d like to see you try pushing it.”

Dr. K doesn’t know me very well.

beermug

Thursday night at Flying Saucer while celebrating a birthday we discussed the next day’s plans, in which John would take Anne, Becky and me while Heather and Maggie drove separately to Greenville.  John and I would try to register for the Half, having learned that 100 extra regs had been opened.

Friday morning I laid out my running gear.  I was a Newbie all over again. Shorts.  No, not those shorts.  Those.  Shirt.  Short sleeve.  No, long sleeve.  No, both.  No, not those shorts after all.  Those.  Garmin, charger, HR monitor, gear bag, socks, chews, trail mix bar, lucky hat…for hours I laid things out, looked them over, wandered about the house.  Returning, I looked over everything.  Add, subtract.  Search frantically to see if I’d remembered socks.  Yes, four pair should be enough.  I was going to be gone a whole night, after all.

John helped me load everything in Becky’s car and we picked up Anne.

You can buy freshly made tamales at gas stations on Highway 61 in Mississippi.  I didn’t.

beermug

We drove directly to registration and I nearly bowled over three people in my rush to see if I could still register.  Clutching my race bag I ran to Becky and Anne.  I’m IN!

Happy Sunday

this is really a great weekend.  mom said that she is not going to do any work all weekend, and then she went downstairs and started cleaning her office.  which she really needed to do because it’s a big mess.  she should not leave papers on the bed like it was a filing cabinet because it’s not fair to Mo.  Mo loves paper.  he loves to jump on it.  then if it flips up he tries to hide under it.  which that’s kind of stupid because he’s bigger than a piece of paper and I can still see him so then I jump on the bed and smack his head just to show him.  then he smacks my head and we have a really fun time rolling around on the bed pretend fighting.

then you know what she does?  she gets mad at US.  we aren’t the ones leaving her papers all over the bed.  she should yell at herself but she says HEY!  you SILLY CATS!  WHAT are you DOING!? and then Mo gets scared and hides under the bed for thirtyseven more hours.

anyway, she’s down there muttering like she always does so me and Mo are up in the sunporch and guess what?? she left the laptop turned on!  So now I can talk to everyone again!  Two days in row!  I’m so happy.  you have no idea how boring mom is.  Oh My Cat, she is boring.  sometimes I fall asleep right on top of her, bored out of my mind while she is still talking.

which also I found some more great dumb dog pictures

hey.  wait.  How did that picture of the cat get on there??  that just ticks me off.

dumb dog

I’ll hunt them down.

anyway, this morning was so nice.  I was all cuddled up soft and warm with my nose under my paws.  Hey, mom made a poem for me.  Do you want to hear it?  She named it Sheldon’s Song but I don’t know why because she made it up for me and also she doesn’t sing.  which that is a very good thing because she sounds like two cats screeching.  believe me, I would know.

Sheldon’s Song for Chunker
Soft kitty,
Warm kitty,
Little ball of fur.
Happy kitty,
Sleepy kitty,
Purr, purr, purr.

So that’s what I was doing.  purr purr purr and then all of a sudden the stupid dog is in the kitchen barking which totally woke me up.  If I were mom I would have said, dammitmurphyyoudipshit you’re barking at your own dad.

which actually that is what she said.

dad was standing outside the kitchen door, looking at us and Murphy was barking at him.  See?  I’m telling you, that dog is dumb.  Mo and me said, Murphy, you’re so stupid.  That’s dad!

Murphy looked up and saw dad.  he said, oh, sorry and sat down and started licking himself.

anyway, it turned out that the secret door opening thing is broke.  serves them both right.  they never let me and Mo outside through the door anyway.  it’s their turn not to get to go out the door.

altho dad did look sort of cold, standing out there in the dark carport.  So then I felt bad.  for like, a whole minute.

so the other thing that was fun is last night mom sat at the computer box downstairs and she started yelling for dad to COME HERE and she was laughing.  She told dad LOOK!  My review is on amazon.com!  then dad laughed too so I think it was a good thing.  One clue is if the word dipshit or dammit is in the loud voice.  If not, then you’re probably ok.

I don’t really get it.  I looked at her reviews and she doesn’t make any sense.  for one thing, we both know her name is not Hortence.  See if you can figure it out.  Also she told dad to please go like it so I don’t know what that means, because he laughed so I know he did but I guess I’ll ask you two to like it, too.

Tasty but deadly

Rabbit Stew destroys first floor of Shady Grove Nursing Home

OH!  I gotta go!  Dad just came home and can’t get in the door again so Murphy is barking and I bet mom will yell at him again!  YAY!  I’m telling you, it’s a great day!!!

Oh – also, Maya is a dog.  Dogs drool.  Cats rule.  Nanner nanner.

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